Safe­guard­ing chil­dren costs £3.5m more

Herald Express - - News -

OVER­SPEND­ING on chil­dren’s ser­vices in Tor­bay is ex­pected to reach £3.5 mil­lion by the end of March, driven by a rise in looked-af­ter chil­dren.

The coun­cil which runs the statu­tory ser­vice has found an ex­tra £1m of sav­ings else­where to re­duce the over­all deficit, in­clud­ing a re­cruit­ment freeze and ban on non-es­sen­tial spend­ing. But se­nior man­agers are look­ing for more sav­ings to re­duce the pre­dicted £2.4m deficit and bal­ance the books by the end of the fi­nan­cial year.

Mean­while chil­dren’s ser­vices are set to get an ex­tra £3m in the bud­get pro­posed by the mayor for next year, to deal with in­creased de­mand.

The amount of money al­lo­cated has gone up to £34.8m, de­spite the coun­cil need­ing to find £7.5m of sav­ings from next year’s planned spend­ing.

At the end of Au­gust, 357 chil­dren were be­ing looked af­ter by the lo­cal au­thor­ity, ac­cord­ing to the De­part­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion. This was up by a fifth since Novem­ber and by 10% since Jan­uary.

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